Don Your Way column: Lemsip and tissues? Can only be man flu!
Chances are that a good many of you will be reading this column through a fug of Lemsip fumes, tissues, a thick head and a general feeling of grottiness.
I thought I’d done well this winter, managing to avoid the numerous bugs, colds and flu viruses going around.
But that triumphant record was brought crashing down last week when on my journey home one night, I began violently sneezing and my throat began to tickle.
Needless to say, by the end of the night, I’d decamped to bed armed with a year’s supply of Kleenex and was feeling pretty sorry for myself (no rude jokes at the back there please).
As I type this, I’m still all bunged up and sniffing away at Olbas Oil inhalers and sucking on Fishermen’s Friends (again, no rude jokes at the back once again please).
Obviously, its not just a common cold - this is a serious case of full-blown man flu - and I’ve been milking the sympathy from my colleagues for more than a week now.
My desk looks like the pharmacy counter at Boots and my eldest son has also fallen victim to the dreaded lurgy.
So we can sit round grumbling about it together from under blankets while swigging Lucozade and eating the standard “poorly dinner” of chicken soup.
I’ve taken to Facebook to ensure everyone knows, quite literally, every last cough and splutter and I’m sure my fellow commuters have loved every moment that I’ve hacked and snuffled all over them on the train.
Fortunately, despite all the social media pleading for sympathy, by and large, I am one of these people who just gets on with it and gets on at work as best I can regardless.
Yes, I might be feeling pretty rubbishy and yes, I would rather be tucked up in bed with a book shutting out the cold, but at the end of the day, it is only a common cold and therefore, no excuse to skip a day or two off.
So there’s been no instance of me having to phone in sick using the “poorly voice” (you know, the croaky.. ‘I don’t feel too good’ wheeze) or the need to refer to my illness as “flu.”
If you’ve ever had the flu (like I have) you will know the difference - and believe you me, a flu leaves you pretty much bed-ridden and feeling like death warmed up.
People who call their cold “flu” are the same kind of people who describe a simple headeache as a migraine.
And rather than bother doctors and the wonderful NHS and the people who work within it, unless you are feeling really ropey, don’t bother them.
A few paracetamol, plenty of fluids and lots of rest will soon have you feeling right as rain.
But to be honest, I’ll be glad when I’m shut of these germs and back to 100% fitness.
And then when the cold season is over, it won’t be long until the hayfever period comes and I can dig out the hankies again. Hurrah!